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Trim servo - questions after call with my mechanic

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Well-Known Member
Mar 24, 2011
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While my Arrow was in getting an oil change today, I had the mechanic take a look at my elevator trim wheel. It has been very stiff to use which was just annoying more than anything. I have been reluctant to use my electric trim for anything more than cruise as another pilot friend of mine told me to replace the servo when it burns out was something like $5,000 to replace. Not sure where his information came from, but does that sound accurate?

My mechanic told me that after cleaning the screw in back of the plane, that my trim wheel is tight due to an aftermarket trim servo being placed in that aircraft. It is much stronger than the original piper servo (he said the original Piper would not be able to move with how stiff it is in the current state). Furthermore, when I told him I was scared to use it for normal climb, descent, approach for fear of wearing out the motor and being costly, I was told to go ahead and use it the majority of time as my primary trim unless I needed immediate big pitch changes. My mechanic says it is stiff as it was intended to be trimmed primarily through all phases of flight through the electric trim, not manually.

For those mechanics on here (or others who know way more than I do), does this sound accurate? Should I be using the electric trim as much as possible? Also, for a general idea, how much does an "aftermarket trim servo" cost - or a trim servo in general if you have no idea what I'm referring to? If these things don't cost the $5,000 I was originally told then I'm definitely going to use more often.

As a side comment - I had posted a somewhat related question in the past and saw different posts about cables, etc. My mechanic said from his visual inspections today, there doesn't appear to be anything inherently wrong so I'll rule out those discussions for now until we get to annual.

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